Onboarding, when it comes to HR, refers to the integration of new employees into the company. The onboarding stage includes a number of steps and actions with a significant long-term impact and consequences for the company. One of the steps (exchange of documentation and information) ensures the employer’s compliance to statutory obligations upon introduction of new hires to their duties. Yet, despite this phase being crucial to the relationship between employer and employees, and specifically the legal prevention aspect of it, statistics show that nearly 1/4 of domestic enterprises have no structured onboarding procedures.
In this article, we’ll sum the essential steps of onboarding, focusing on the ones that are mandated in the LC.
Essential steps of onboarding
There are several aspects to consider when you’re structuring an onboarding process:
Legal & Compliance
Mandatory onboarding documentation, presented by the employer to the employee:
- A copy of the employment contract and the notification to the National Revenue Agency of its conclusion (must be delivered before onboarding);
- A job description;
- Information on the Internal Working Regulations;
- Information on the Internal Salary Rules;
- Information on the Health and Safety Regulations;
- Information on the terms and conditions for terminating the employment according to the Labour code provisions - effective as of September 2022. Find more details here: Bulgarian employers educate employees on employment termination;
- Information on mandatory training provided by the employer in reference to maintaining and increasing professional qualifications – if applicable;
- Information regarding the collection and processing of personal data;
- Information on Collective labouer agreement - if applicable;
- Other documents and information according to the specifics of the activity and current legislation.
Compliance to the informative obligations requires written form. The various deadlines for providing the required documentation and paperwork take place in a tight timeframe: shortly before the first working day up to a month after. The document exchange can be paper-based or digital.
The Ordinance on the digital employment files’ special requirements apply to the digital handover.
Optional onboarding documentation, presented by the employer to the employee:
This includes any documentation related to the specifics of the employer's organization and activities. For example: internal rules and policies for providing company’s material assets; restrictions for processing confidential information and information from service directories; rules for processing customers’ personal data; rules for promotion, bonuses and social benefits in the workplace; performance evaluation system, as well as any other information and rules that are or may be relevant to the employee.
At this stage, collecting initial information about the circumstances entitling to protection in case of dismissal under Art. 333 of the Labour Code is also possible.
Mandatory documentation, presented by the employee upon conclusion of the employment contract and onboarding:
- A written proof of acquired education, specialty, qualification, legal capacity, scientific title, or scientific degree, when required for the job;
- A written proof of working experience in a specific area, if required by the job or position;
- A medical examination document upon initial employment and after termination of employment for a period of more than 3 months;
- A criminal record certificate, when statutory required;
- A permission from the Labour inspectorate, if the person is under 16 years old or is between 16 and 18 years old;
- A labour book. When entering work for the first time, the labour book is issued by the employer within 5 days.
In practice, the provision of documentation by the employer to the employee is usually carried out by presenting a copy of each document or by providing a permanent access to a directory where it is located. For full compliance to the employer’s informatory obligations, the entire informative process should be documented, and signed for by the employee. Structure and content are at the employer's own discretion, as long as they meet the statutory requirements.
Non-compliance can result in various risks, the most common one being administrative actions (compulsory administrative measures and sanctions). In addition, it may obstruct the employee’s performance, for which the employee will not be liable to the employer. This may affect further actions taken by the employer, including the action of a possible dismissal.
Onboarding of new hires requires a significant exchange of information and documentation within a tight timeline. This exchange is essential for not just for legal prevention in the enterprise, but also for the long-term performance of the employees’ work functions. Between the progressively increasing regulatory requirements for the employer, and unique corporate needs, the bar for a compliant and effective onboarding process’ structure and form keeps climbing higher.
Author: atty. Malena Sheytanova, an Employment law attorney with a specialized expertise in HR-related corporate legal assistance. For more information about HR-related products and assistance, please visit the Consultissimo team & services.
©atty. Malena Sheytanova, 2022
This article provides overall information and is not intended to provide or be used as a legal advice or consultation. Using this article's content is permissible only upon acknowledgment of the author and the source.